Video published December 29, 2013
Recently it has become clear that in order for young players to flourish in soccer it requires an unrealistic amount of money, time and resources. The players who are privileged enough to play at the elite level receive high quality coaching, state of the art equipment and training facilities. This gives those players an advantage. For families who can’t afford the high cost their youth are left with the option of playing at the recreational level or not playing at all. The recreational level often has untrained parents as coaches, low quality training, equipment and facilities. PCFC was created out of a growing need for a soccer club that would provide a high quality playing experience for youth in Portland without the high expense. In the Fall of 2012 Kaig Lightner, Founder and Director of Coaching, began to develop the concept of PCFC in coordination with some passionate and frustrated soccer parents.
Our Commitment To Diversity
As the pieces began to fall into place it became clear that not only did PCFC need to be accessible to athletes and families from low-income communities but there was also an opportunity to make sure that athletes, coaches and families from the LGBTQ community had a place to feel welcomed and accepted. The motivation for this particular outreach came specifically from Kaig identifying as a queer, transgender man and a member of the LGBTQ community. He strongly believes that no youth, parent or coach should ever feel excluded or discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. While LGBTQ acceptance is becoming more common in the population at large it is still not an idea that is widely accepted in the sports community, particularly within youth athletics. PCFC is dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive environment while also giving athletes the opportunity to build their skills, make new friends and love the beautiful game of football.
PCFC's mission is to offer high quality, low-cost soccer to all youth in the Portland Metro area. Many soccer clubs claim to be inclusive of diverse communities but they simultaneously exclude many players and their families because of the financial barrier to play. We ask for parents to pay varying amounts for different seasons, but this is always just a suggested amount. Any amount that parents can pay is accepted. Any amount that is paid above the suggested amount is considered a donation to help subsidize other players. But there are other barriers beyond money that are often less obvious.
- Language and cultural barriers. We work hard to make sure that all our forms are translated into Spanish as this tends to be the second most common language spoken amongst families who access our programs. We also strive to recruit coaches who can assist with translation during in person conversations. It is also important to our mission that our staff reflect the communities that we serve. In addition to these steps PCFC also seeks out partnerships with other culturally specific organizations (ie, Self-Enhancement Inc, St. Andrews School, AC Portland, New Columbia Neighborhood and Native American Youth Assoc.).
- Transportation and socio-econmic barriers. These also prevent many youth from participating in high quality soccer clubs. As a result PCFC is dedicated to eliminating these barriers by assisting parents in finding transportation solutions such as carpool or we coordinate with other organizations who have access to multi-person vehicles. Unfortunately, parents who work multiple jobs or work odd hour jobs aren't always able to drive their kids to and from practices and games. That's why PCFC assists with not only getting kids to and from these events, but also understands when a player might have to miss a practice or game due to these barriers. We never punish a player for these things nor does it ever affect their place on their team. We also aim to eliminate the technology barrier that often prevents families in low-income communities from having equal access to clubs. We do not require parents to have an email address or to only exclusively use email for communication. Our Director of Coaching and coaches makes phone calls regularly to check in with families about their youth's participation in each season. PCFC believes that connecting with people through any means is the most important even if it takes more time and effort.
Kaig Lightner, Founder, Director of Coaching, and Head Coach U16 - Competetive Level
Kaig holds a USSF National ‘C’ Coaching License. He has been coaching and working with youth for over 16 years. He grew up in Redmond, WA and began playing soccer at the age of eight along with basketball, softball and volleyball. Kaig took a short hiatus from soccer from 2001 – 2003. During that time he was on the nationally ranked #1 rowing team at the University of Washington. As a novice rower he earned the title of most inspirational. Ultimately, Kaig found the beautiful game of soccer to be his true passion. In 2003 he came back to coaching and was the head coach of several competitive and recreational level teams in Seattle in addition to coaching at many summer camps. In 2005 Kaig moved to Portland where he was the Head Coach of a U12 girls team and Co-Coach of a U15 girls team at Eastside United FC (now Eastside Timbers). During his time at ESUFC he also ran the speed and agility clinics and was the director of the U6-U8 Developmental League. He left ESUFC in 2007 and returned to coaching recreational teams for Laurelhurst Soccer Club. It was also during this time that Kaig decided to begin the process of transitioning from living as female to living as male. This was a challenging and also incredibly rewarding process for him. In 2007 he also co-founded Transactive, a non-profit that serves transgender children, youth and their families. Kaig has also been the Program Director for various after school programs and a caseworker for the Department of Human Services. He earned his Masters in Social Work degree from Portland State University in 2012.
Kirstin Soldevilla, Co-Head Coach U13 - Competitive Level
Kirstin is a Portland native who grew-up playing soccer at the premier level and on the Oregon ODP (Olympic Development Program) team. Throughout her youth she was a key player on LOSC and various traveling teams throughout the metro area. She played as a starter on the LOHS Varsity team for three years, where they came within sight of the State Championship with both quarterfinal and semifinal finishes, and was named to an All-League team with All-State honors. During her sophomore year of high school she leveraged her skills as a soccer player to walk on to the varsity lacrosse team, and helped the team transform into State Champions. After winning the State Championship both her Junior and Senior years, she was nominated to the All-American team and given the “Coaches Award” two years in a row for her ability to excel in any position on the field. Despite earning multiple opportunities to play both soccer and lacrosse at DI and DIII schools, Kirstin decided to pursue other interests at the University of Denver and earned a BSBA in Business, and Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management as well as Minor in Management.
In addition to helping coach the PCFC teams, Kirstin enjoys playing futsal and indoor soccer as well as watching the Spanish national team play. She also loves trying new restaurants, exploring cities around the world, and keeping her two rescued puppies from getting into too much trouble.
Markus is an Oregon native who grew up playing soccer for Three Rivers Football Club (now Eastside FC) out of Clackamas, Oregon. He played as a starter for two years on the Clackamas High School soccer team. At the University of Oregon he studied abroad abroad in Spain and Mexico where his love of the game grew and he learned to speak Spanish. Markus studied at the University of Oregon and earned a degree in political science with a minor in Spanish. After college he lived for a period in Arequipa, Peru where he taught English and soccer to elementary school children. Markus returned to Portland, Oregon recently after living in Madison, Wisconsin and New York City.
Outside of coaching at PCFC, Markus loves traveling, playing tennis and playing bar trivia. He has been to over 20 countries and 45 of the 50 states.
Patricio Manueco, Assistant coach/Fitness and Conditioning coach
My name is Patricio Manueco, a multi-cultural coach passionate about soccer. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to share my passion, knowledge, and experiences gained from this great game with talented kids around the world. Inspiring the future generation of soccer players in Portland is one of my key missions and volunteering for PCFC, a great local project, allows me to stay involved and connected to Portland’s soccer-rich community. My core focus is on strengthening our soccer players by motivating, inspiring and connecting that seed of greatness in all of them through soccer.
Joe Supuni, Co-Head Coach U13 - Recreational
I am from Malawai, Central Africa.
I love the game of soccer (football). I have been coaching now for about 3 years.
I have played the game ever since I can remember. Soccer was a way of life where I come from.
I currently play in Latino league in Tigard, but have played for in different leagues and for different teams, and have won championships at different levels.
I enjoy the game because it has no limits. It brings people from different walks of life together for a fun great time. It also teaches valuable lessons and skills to the players that they can use in normal life, from planning, to teamwork, leadership, accountability, and goal setting, among others.
My name is Jacob Reich and I am very excited and fortunate to begin coaching with PCFC. I have lived in Portland coming up on 2 years now. I moved here from Ann Arbor Michigan. I attended Eastern Michigan University where I graduated with a Bachelors in Secondary Education. I also played for the University soccer team all 4 years, and captained the team for the last 2 years. I have been coaching for about 6 years now, and have obtained a national E license. I started off coaching for a club called Lyon FC, based out of South Lyon Michigan. I coached there for 3 years and worked with five different teams altering between head coach and assistant coach. The ages I coached were U12 all the way up to U16 with a couple different championships as well as tournament trophies. Upon moving to Portland I coached at Portland Indoor Soccer for a program called Little Kickers, working with ages 3 to 9. I also coached a Middle School boys varsity team for Catlin Gabel, a local school in the west hills. I lead that team to an undefeated season, but sadly lost the championship game. A season I will never forget. I have also coached at Rose City Futsal for a program called Soccer Stars, and as later promoted to assistant director of the program. Soccer has always been a passion of mine, as well as working with youth. Coaching is one of those things that brings me such joy and happiness and I am very fortunate to have received a coaching position with PCFC. I look forward to working with the youth of this program and teaching them the beautiful game. Joga Bonito!!!!!
Henry Canizares, Assistant Coach U16 - Competitive Level
- Born in Guayaquil-Ecuador
- Member of the volleyball and soccer team during middle and high school In Ecuador
- In Ecuador Henry played for many competitive teams and also coached kids of many ages
- Moved to the USA 20 years ago.
- Played for Manhattan College soccer team
- Moved to Portland 20 years ago and played with many competitive teams around the Portland area.
- Coached 3 seasons the Tigard high school soccer team during copa-multicultural tournament
- Coached Milwuakie Soccer Club recreational team and the Thello United U11 competitive
- Worked as an marketing program manager for Amazon
- BA degree in science and Master Degree in Engineering Management from PSU.
D coaching license
Sam Baker, Former (2016) Co-Head Coach U13 - Competitive Level
Sam started playing soccer when he was five and played through high school. "I still don't know how she did it," he says when speaking of how his single mother and soccer coaches always found a way for him and his siblings to play regardless of finances. "Soccer brought us so much joy, and my soccer family somehow became an extension of my immediate family."
His love for the game led him to the sports product industry, where he has contributed on the brand marketing, sales, merchandising & product development teams of top lifestyle and retail leaders like Nike, The Prefontaine Classic, Columbia Sportswear, adidas, and Oakley to name a few. His diverse experience and love for sport was recognized by the University of Oregon, where Sam served as a founding advisory board member of the university's new Sports Product Management Master's of Science program.
He has served his community on the organizing team for Portland Night Market, a "Play-Maker" for Harper's Playground, as a mentor for TEDxYouth, a Producer for TEDxPortland, and a founding board member of the Oregon-Sabah Collaborative.
"Having great coaches doesn't end after the whistle blows. I've been fortunate to have some amazingly talented mentors who have taken me under their wings and continued to help me develop both personally & professionally, so that we can make sure that kids like me will always have access to sport."
Cody Wetherill, Co-Head Coach U13 - Competitive Level
Cody has been playing soccer for over 25 years at various levels including recreational, premier, ODP, and collegiate club. He attended Eastern Washington University where he split time between his passions for soccer and film, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film in 2006. He soon moved back to Portland where he worked in various roles in television and film production and was a camp counselor for youth programs. In 2014, he began coaching with PCFC. Along with coaching, he continues to play in indoor and outdoor leagues and is an avid fan and supporter of the Portland Timbers.